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J�tul F 50 TL Rangeley - Anyone burning?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by PJF1313, Nov 30, 2010.

  1. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Normally I don't like loading much above the firebrick level. The firebrick height is less than 15" high. Not sure what the folks in Jotul ME would recommend here, but it would be good to know. If loaded to the 9" level it would be a 2 cu ft stove.

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  2. IH3444

    IH3444 Member

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    That maybe more in line BeGreen. Loaded to 10" level, would make it a 2.3 cu ft box. More inline with a medium sized stove.
  3. jrcurto

    jrcurto Member

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    You guys are right on, we can average the high and low estimates now. I let the stove cool down overnight in order to clean and get ready for 2011. Accurate measurements are 21" W x 18"D x 12" H for loading/burning purposes. So that gives us a 2.6 cu/ft firebox. I was able to measure from the front opening and double check through the top. You can really pack the splits in nice, I am going to try topping a load off with bio brick one cold night since they fit through the baffle plate just right with three side-by-side.
  4. branchburner

    branchburner Minister of Fire

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    When I did the rough measure on mine it was closer to 3 cu ft. Leaving space at the top must be how they pare it down.

    I think that Rangeley is going to be a real hit - what's not to like?
  5. OhioBurner©

    OhioBurner© Minister of Fire

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    I agree it will probably be a big hit, but I seem to be in the minority about the looks. I'd take the F400, 500, 600 any day over this for looks, but I havent seen it in person yet. I was looking at the F400-600 too, to match my 550 Rockland looks, but the doors are all on the wrong side except the 600 which is a tad bigger than I need. The toploader would be nearly as good with the door issue, but it doesnt match the traditional Jotul look at all.
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    We had the same issue with the Oslo door for our corner install. The F600 clearances were too high for our space, but the Alderlea fit just right. Looks wise I prefer the Alderlea.
  7. branchburner

    branchburner Minister of Fire

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    I agree. I guess I'm comparing it to stoves of its type rather than to the standard cast iron Jotul. I think Jotul is looking to take market share from other stoves, and not compete with its existing line. It still looks good, I think, but less distinctive. In a way, that may appeal to an even wider audience than their existing look... plus: top loader; steel or cast side option; N/S or E/W loading option; decent firebox size per price.
  8. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    You're not alone Ohio. That's why I modded my version of the stove too.

    Attached Files:

  9. IH3444

    IH3444 Member

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    I have been thinking that Jotul could also offer this stove, steel sided, with 4 each, either 1/4", or 3/8" nuts welded on each corner, of both steel sides. Then you could attach a decorative side heat shield, allowing for additional upwards convection currents, and closer safe spacing from a side wall. Jotul could offer just a simple plain heat shield, or a animal stamping, of which they seem to be fond of in some of their cast designs. They could bend the top of the shield over 90 degrees, allowing the rear fan to then push the heat out towards the room. Get the heat out where it will do most good. Different side selection to cater to tastes, and needs.

    On the firebox size, do they just measure up to the height of the firebricks? That would be maybe 9 1/2" tall. making it about a 2.1 cu ft box. Either 2.1 or 2.2 works for me, and places it squarely in the medium stove range, with a tad room for stacking up for the night.
  10. jrcurto

    jrcurto Member

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    Hey guys,
    This stove just keeps on cranking. My kids have never been so happy with me stoking the coal bed at 0600 and having the downstairs toasty for breakfast while I'm already at work at 0700. I know the looks are a disqualifier for some and I too wish for the front had some more character but overall this is a great stove. The firebox is ideal mixing 12-18' splits and cruising between 350- 550 degrees. I cant wait for a seasons supply of dry oak to be ready next year. I also keep a cast iron pan pre-heated on top every morning so the wife only has to transfer it to the regular stove for breakfast and get things cooking fast. Speaking of which, she has had to wear less while hanging out near the Rangeley at night which always appreciates the value of a woodburner.
    Jim
  11. IH3444

    IH3444 Member

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    Jim, have you been using the top loader feature, and how well does that work? Are the air tubes attached to the baffle plate, or mounted seperately? And one more question, is the bottom plate of the firebox welded to the firebox sides. From the exploded view pdf file supplied by Jotul I can see that the top frameing plate for the top loader door is bolted down to the fire box formed up sides. Looks like that whole sides unit is a single piece of steel formd in a wrap around manufactured design, and if course welded at the mateing seam. Was wondering if the bottom is then welded to that box. This would make for a very sturdy frame, which would resist warping. I can understand the ease of manufacturing the top to bolt down, but if the top frame was a piece of thick 5/16" plate, then welded. Wow, would that add stiffness to the firebox. Looks that the top frameing piece is cast. Is that a correct assumption? This would allow the top loader door assembly to most likely be easier to manufacture, and install. I still have been unable to see the arrangement of the burn tubes. If you pause the stove, would you please take a few pics of the interior and post. And last but not least, how's that baby performing?

    Just trying to judge a long term durability and geometeric stability to the firebox design.

    Thanks for being the first test case, and posting your summaries, and pictures. They have been a great asset to all of us.

    IH3444
  12. jrcurto

    jrcurto Member

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    Hi
    To start, this stove is great, the more I use it the better it performs. The construction is superior and your questions helped me confirm that. I will post pics during the next "pause"; I like that term better than "going cold"! To start, all steel seams are welded, with the beads being heavy, smooth, and continuous. The bottom plate is welded, the fire box front and sides continuous plate steel, the rear seams meeting at the back corners where the flue collar/rear plate is welded to the main body. The baffle plate framing is welded to the front, sides and rear, this heavy 2" lip supports the cast baffle plate/manifold assemblies. The rear air tubes are bolted up to the manifold and the front air tube is integral with the axle that swings the front half of the baffle/manifold up during top loading.

    I admittedly have been loading much more from the front, since you can play more and I tend to load more while the fire is active. I have been cooking flank steak and salmon regularly using a grilling basket, the deep firebox accomodates this nicely and after 15 minutes over a hot bed of coals...wow. Now, when top loading you have to be in control of your fire otherwise smoke will get out. Following the Jotul instructions is just the primer. After burning down, I have been opening the primary air, then open the cookplate/ load door leaving the baffle/manifold closed to see what equalization takes place before swinging the manifold open. I usually give it 30 seconds before swinging the manifold open. The heat can be a kick in the face and you'll also know if smoke is getting out! This of course, is mitigated by a proper draft. I have been packing the stove up to the baffles before bed and always have a bed of coals in the morning. Dry hardwood, especially dry oak, is essential for overnight burns.

    Speaking of draft, the top loading feature has solved the issue of cold starts in any condition. By swinging the top load door/cookplate open, you have access to the flue throat and a newspaper knot placed right there and timed with a cold start, Cedar Starter, top-down fire method...we have ignition. Also the top load gives more access for stovepipe and chimney cleaning and enables me to check the flue damper alignment from time to time. Overall, the Rangeley is solid, any parts needing replacement are easily accessible and serviceable. I really cant even imagine being able to overfire this thing and even then, it appears to be bulletproof.

    I'll keep you posted, Jim
  13. IH3444

    IH3444 Member

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    Thank you Jim for that lengthy description of starting the Rangely, and answering all my questions about build quality. It sounds like Jotul had done a very good job of think through, and manufacturing design. Taking into consideration the stiffness of the firebox, with the top loader feature. I do remember reading that before top loading to open air fully, but your intimate knowledge of experienced top loading will be indespensible for all owner in the future. And thanks for the starting tip of opening top, and wadded paper at the flue. That was a good idea on your part. Once you get the flue warmed, then the whole starting process is a go. The reason for my in depth inquiries as to the construction of the Rangely is that the dealer I have been dealing with, just wasn't going to get any in due to it being out of their normanl clientel taste. So I have more or less asked them to order one for me, sight unseen. That fish cooking on top sounds wonderful. A picture of that would make many jealous whom don't have such a refined, and elegant cook top. The Jotul with the grooved cook top, looks to be for serious all purpose cooking. Not just pots of stew grub brewing. Thanks for the quick response. With you responses, I know I'm making a wise choice. And I just love the down home appeal of the black stove look. Happy Grilling!

    Just had to go and review the pictures again. With the top plate being welded as you stated, and if the top plate is at least 1/4", better if 5/16", and drop form die, with the edges formed down as the pictures look, then that will be an extremely stiff design. Wonder who was the design team engineers for this, and if it was designed here in the states, or over in Norway.

    IH3444

    Additional info from dealer is tricking in.....stove firebox is 1/4" thick. The steel sides are bolted onto the firebox, as are the cast sides you have Jim. I requested pictures of the steel sided Rangeley, as well as asking as to where Jotul gets their steel to manufacture the Rangeley. There are some stoves manufacturers getting their steel from China now, and some quality control issues exist. This doesn't show up until the stove has been run for some time. There are some people having problems with their Pacific Energy 5700 stoves with rear wall cracking, and steel from China. Pacific Energy is standing behind every stove I have read about here on Hearth, and replacing them. That's a good company. I'm sure it's just specific batches of steel.
  14. lokewolf

    lokewolf New Member

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    I've been running my new rangeley for two weeks now...I do like the stove, the Top load is a bit different than that of the VC Encore 1450 NC and that may be the only negative I have. The looks aren't anything like the enameled stoves you see from Jotul or VC, but I like it the way it is. With the Encore that was only 4 years old, I would open the damper with one hand and then seperately go open the top and I could load a bunch of wood with my hands and not worry about being singed, scorched or burned without gloves. The design of the two top loads are quite different...under the top plate on the Jotul is a flipper that pushes the damper door closed and conversely..stops the damper from being left in the open position...a safety feature so you don't forget to close the damper..right. I don't care for that and the 6-8" gap from the top of the stove to the firebox that the wood has to pass through on its way down. I'm finding myself loading the stove from the front and loading either E/W or N/S. E/W takes longer to get fire going and tend to burn a bit slower and N/S is good for rekindling in the morning or loading more wood which would be good for overnight burns.
    All in all the stove is really good and I'm getting big coal beds after each burn that last all night.

    Sidenote...the BlowerFan kit that Jotul puts out for this stove does not come with the correct bracket hardware. In the manual the kits are the same part number but the hardware kits that come with..are for the Oslo and Firelight. Jotul wants me to pay extra $40 for the correct hardware. I'm telling Jotul to go smoke another one! Either the stove shop or Jotul is gonna come thru and do the right thing or the Blower Fan is getting returned.

    I do have a burn rate issue though. I have a strong draft issue..my flue is close to 30'-35' of 8in pipe. I have two story colonial with the flue coming out the side of the house. the pipe is boxed in for asethetics and ironically to help with the draft. Even with the primary air control all the way down, the stove will work from 300F to +500F with the thermometer on the right corner of the top plate. The air control all the way down is whistling and the burns lasting 1.5 to 2 hrs before its all coals. I've read of two viable options...1) put a key damper in the pipe above the stove and 2) use some Hi Temp Aluminum tape (600F rated) to cover the primary and secondary air ports and poke holes in them to adjust the amount of air coming into the stove. My Chimney sweep guy recommended using the tape first rather than install the damper. I'm thinking of doing this.. do you all have some advice for me?

    Thanks..Erik
  15. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Hey JF50, welcome. It's great to have another owner of this stove here. Good tips. Personally I would just add the key damper. It makes it easy to open it up when the temps get milder and the draft is not as strong. If you are testing, I would not block off both ports. Try just a partial block of the primary air first.

    And don't be shy, start another thread with continuing review and pictures of your new baby.

    PS: We like to see them with Fire!
  16. lokewolf

    lokewolf New Member

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    Also, Jotul suggests placing the thermometer on either of the 4 corners of the silver top lid, but had me put it in the center when I did the break in fires...where should it go? Center or corners? Also, do anyone recommend putting a probe thermometer into the dbl wall stove pipe to see what the temps are in there?
  17. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Don't own this model . . . but do own the Jotul Oslo.

    RE: Thermometer placement. If you are a total stove nerd like me you could perhaps get access to an IR thermometer and shoot the center and four corners and see which area consistently is hottest . . . make a mental note of that . . . and put the thermometer there . . . or you could simply put it in one of the corners as Jotul suggests and realize that there may be some temp differences but that it will be OK.

    RE: Probe thermometer. Have one and love it . . . in fact I rely on this temp for feedback and adjusting things more than I do the stove top temp.
  18. IH3444

    IH3444 Member

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    Hello and welcome F50 Guy,

    I also would like to thank you for your purchase, and review of the F50TL. I was wondering why you replaced your VC Encore so soon? And what made you decide on the Jotul F50TL Rangeley? I personally like it for it's simplictic looks, and that it's a fully welded firebox design. Jacketed to aid with being a convection stove. I also like the steel sides. Look sleek to me. Maybe definetly some heat transfer differences between sheet steel, and cast iron sides. I'm sure someone here knows more about that than me. And almost certain there is some advantage with the cast sides, such as a gentler heat transfer, as also with soapstone. Did you get the steel sided one, or the cast sided one? I am also thinking along the same lines of installing a key damper when I install mine. I have a strong draft now with my older stove. The damper helps alot. Do you also mine me asking along with which model you have, and as to how much you paided for your Jotul? Pictures would be wonderful if you can post some. I too am not too keen on using the top load feature, but of course will try it out. Who knows, I may enjoy it.

    IH3444
  19. lokewolf

    lokewolf New Member

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    Re: Encore
    Thanks to a grey squirrel finding its way down my flue and shredding the fountain assembly ($500 to replace) and the fact that I've read stories of the same part failing under normal use within 2 years and causing serious overfires. I would get 3-4 hrs of burn and no coals after 5 hrs. The tax credit was the extra incentive to go get a stove with more heating capacity and supposedly better air control. The jet engine sound the encore would make when closing the damper was giving me grey hair and thankfully my dbl wall stove pipe saved me twice from 3 chimney fires. My house was smoked out once from it. Probably due to the strong draft!!

    Re: Rangeley
    My wife has Rhumatoid Arthritis and bending over or kneeling was something I wanted her to avoid doing. She really liked the Encore's Top load feature so I heard about this new stove from Jotul and saw the video. I got some confidence from my chimney sweep guy too, regarding Jotuls as well as from a friend whose used them for 40 yrs. Also the family is Norwegian..so it felt natural, speaking from a heritage perspective. I took the plunge! I think once I get the draft under control I will be using the TopLoad more...especially when that stove is hot..as opening the front door when hot is like standing next to a volcano. You get hot fast and its nice Jotul gives you those long stove gloves!! It has the cast side panels and it cost $2249. I got 10% off from the sale my shop was having so I paid basically $2k (not including the blowerfan kit). you can feel the convection (hot air current) coming from the sides and rear and it really helps with moving the warm air around..I will be installing the blowerfan for it though..I need to move that heat around as fast as I can. The side panels have a heat shield effect because they are offset from the stove..not much but a little. The radiant heat coming out of the front glass is unreal!!!! I had a crowded living room last weekend due to all the women flocking to the heat the stove was pumping out :) LOL.
  20. jrcurto

    jrcurto Member

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    Key Damper!
    I am so glad I put in a key damper because this stove needs it. She really breathes like you say and my draft is off the hook but after establishing a burn I close the key damper and cut the air back to half. From then on it is secondary burn time. When she is really hot, I can close the primary all the way and its no problem. I'll tell ya I load from the front more too, the topload is awesome when banking for the overnight. The stovebox is big and likes to be full of dry oak split down to 3-4" running both NS & EW. With this latest cold snap, the Rangeley is our best friend. We had company over for the games on Sunday and they felt the warmth, saw the room temp at 75 deg, tasted the chili on the cooktop, and said...wtf!
    Jim
  21. PJF1313

    PJF1313 Member

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    Thanks Jim and JF50guy!


    My local dealer still doesn't have one in, YET.... but promises me that he has one "coming soon" ;-)

    Did any of you have a smoke spill problem when you re-load? I know the chimney has a lot of an affect on that, but nothing like a steam loco going up a steep grade?


    Thank you and PLEASE keep your reviews coming!!

    P.J.



    PS - as you know, we all LOVE pics of installs HINT-HINT!!!! ;-) even crappy cell-phone pics!
  22. IH3444

    IH3444 Member

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    Jotul F50 Guy,

    What a fantastic deal on the F50 TL with cast sides. Especially in NH where there is no sales tax. Sweeeeeet! Looking forward to some pictures of that beauty burning, and possibly a secondary burn picture.
  23. frankbell

    frankbell New Member

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    Just buying a 50 TL, and I have a question about install. I have an Isokern flue, which is getting a rock veneer as I type. The flue is about 7" - 8" in diameter (not sure exactly). The dealer is telling me that I need a stainless flue liner inserted down the chimney (about 12') which will connect to the chimney connector. Is this right? Can't I just run the chimney connector into the Isokern?

    From all the comments, it sounds like a great stove. Can't wait to get it up and running!
  24. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Welcome frankbell. This is a question worthy of a separate thread. If your Isokern was installed with a class A pipe, it may not need a liner unless it is fairly short. If it is short, increasing the pipe size is just going to make a bad situation worse. That seems to be the case here. Actually at 12ft. I have concerns about the stove having enough draft to work well. If that is the case can the flue be extended a few feet?

    Here's what the manual has to say:

    Chimneys shorter than 14 feet (4.27 m) may not provide
    adequate draft. Inadequate draft can result in smoke
    spillage when loading the stove, or when the door is open.
    Poor draft can also cause back puffing (ignition of gas
    build-up inside the firebox) and sluggish performance.
    The minimum height does not, in itself, guarantee proper
    chimney performance. Optimum draft force should be in
    the .05 - .10 in. w.c. range measured by a Magnahelic gauge.
    Draft at .07 w.c. is ideal.
  25. lokewolf

    lokewolf New Member

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    My Rangeley...enjoy
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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